Tagged: Bluetooth Headphones

Review: Motorola SD10-HD Bluetooth Headphones

As a runner who runs with his iPhone, I purchased the “sweat proof” Motorola S10-HD ($85) wireless bluetooth headphones hoping they’d be a great solution for my long runs. Being wireless and sweat proof made the SD10’s seem like the holy grail of headphones for athletes. Sadly, they’re not as advertised, and certainly not sweat proof, as after only my fifth sweat-drenching run, one of the headphones shorted out.

And I’m not the only athlete to have the SD10-HD’s short out on them. Reviews on Amazon.com are filled with stories of the “sweat proof” SD10-HD’s conking out after a few workouts.

I had other problems with the SD10’s. The controls, which are located near the eartips, require you to blindly grope for the buttons. The buttons themselves are difficult and awkward to press and can lead to annoying moments when you accidentally call somebody during a run or skip a song when you didn’t mean to.

The SD10-HD’s also do not use normal eartips. The headphones come with 4 sets of gigantic, clear rubber eartips that rest on the outside of the ear canal; thus, the SD10’s aren’t true in-ear headphones.

This outside-the-ear-canal design, while comfortable, led to problems when exercising. When sweat runs into the ear canal, it becomes trapped by the ear tips, creating an unpleasant water-in-the-ear feeling. You know that feeling just after you step out of the pool? That’s what it feels like 20 minutes into a run with the SD10-HD’s.

And it’s a shame too, as the headphones have a few attributes that work well for runners. For example, I was surprised how steady and comfortable the headphones stayed during runs—I was expecting them to flop all over the place. And the fact that they are wireless means no awkward cord bouncing or snagging.

The sound quality of the SD10’s is also pretty good considering they’re both bluetooth and not true in-ear headphones. I would stop short of calling the sound quality great though. They were adequate in bass levels as well as with mids and highs. I did experience some problems with volume levels not being loud enough. The max volume falls short of what even the cheapest headphones are capable of. For most music and podcasts, it wasn’t be a problem, but if you have audio that is quiet to begin with, you will have problems compensating with the SD10-HD’s volume levels.

I also experienced many problems with getting the headphones to turn off. I’m not sure if I received a faulty on/off button, but 80% of the time I could not get the headphones to shut off by pressing the on/off button and instead just had to let the battery run out.

Review Summary

The Motorola SD10-HD bluetooth wireless headphones did not live up to their athlete-friendly billing nor their high price tag. Motorola advertises them as “sweat proof,” but I and many others found them anything but. With its frustrating controls, poor sound levels, and an uncomfortable problem with trapping sweat in the ear, I can’t recommend the SD10-HD’s to athletes.

The Motorola SD10-HD currently sell for around $60 on Amazon or can be found at Apple Stores for around $85.

Review of Motorola S805 Bluetooth DJ Headphones (iPhone Stereo Bluetooth Headphones)

The Motorola S805 Bluetooth DJ Headphones ($75) are wireless, stereo bluetooth headphones that work with the iPhone 3G and 3GS. After pairing the headphones with the iPhone, you can to listen music, answer/end calls (there’s a built-in microphone), play/pause music, and control the volume. And with the iPhone 3.1 update, you’ll be able to access Voice Controls as well.

The headset has a built-in rechargeable battery, which lasted for around 15 hours of music playback in our tests (Motorola claims 17 hours). The headphones come with a plug-in wall adapter for recharging. A full recharge takes around 3 hours.

The headset has a studio or DJ-style appearance and is larger and bulkier than most Bluetooth headsets. They are made of mostly plastic, with the earphones covered in a combination of vinyl and fabric, which can get hot if worn over long periods of time. The inside of the headband is lined with fabric, which makes the headphones more comfortable to hang around your neck. Overall, we found the headphones comfortable to wear if not a bit warm due to a lack of ventilation.

The headphones delivered a well-rounded sound–much better than the stock iPhone earphones and just about all in-ears we’ve tried. The bass, in particular, was deep and full. There was some audible background hiss that all Bluetooth headphones experience. The hiss is only clearly heard at higher volumes and generally did not interfere with the enjoyment of music (although some audiophiles might disagree).

As mentioned, the headphones come with built-in controls for both audio and phone functions. The left earphone features an answer/end button for phone calls. The volume can be lowered or raised by twisting a circular knob around the earphone.

The right earphone has a play/pause button for music control. There is also a circular knob that can move the music forward/back a track, but the iPhone only supports the A2DP profile, which doesn’t have music controls built in. The good news is that upcoming iPhone 3.1 software update is bringing Voice Control, which will allow users to verbally move the music forward or back a track.

I tested the headphone’s range around my apartment and found that it delivered a solid signal even in rooms separated from the iPhone by several walls. Motorola says the Bluetooth has a range of around 30 feet, and our tests indicated about 25-30 feet before cutting out. But that’s 25 feet with a solid signal through 3 walls in between.

Motorola describes the S805s as having “noise, echo, and wind cancellation.” In reality, we found no noise cancellation other than the fact that the headphones are large and form a decent seal around your ears.

In our tests, the call quality with the headset’s microphone was mediocre at best but good enough to be heard clearly during phone conversations. My voice was described as sounding somewhat tinny compared to the normal iPhone microphone, but still clearly audible.


What most impressed us about the Motorola S805 Bluetooth DJ Headphones was the excellent audio. They delivered full, rich sound reproduction and excellent bass levels. The built-in microphone is adequate for phone calls but not up to par with the iPhone’s built-in mic. The cons of the headphones are their bulky size, which make them difficult to travel with, and the plastic-and-vinyl construction, which give the headphones a somewhat cheap, breakable feel. Overall, thanks mainly to the excellent audio quality of the earphones, we can recommend the Motorola S805 headphones for iPhone owners.

Helpful Links:

WMExperts review

BlueTomorrow.com review

TechDigest.tv review

Amazon.com: Motorola S805 Bluetooth DJ Headphones